You can’t mention Black television without speaking on ‘Good Times and ‘The Jeffersons.’ The two shows combined played a major impact on the Black community in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, you can still find random people citing JJ’s infamous word “Dynamite” and singing the popular theme song of The Jeffersons.
In a recent interview curated by Touré, Common alongside DJ D-Nice and Steve Stoute speak on the impact of both Good Times and The Jeffersons in the Black community. “We got to see ourselves in Good Times. And every person of color didn’t grow up poor, but these characters were real to us,” says Common. “Being from Chicago, every time people would come to Chicago, they wanted to see the Good Times projects, which was Cabrini Green.”
“I remember when I first signed my first recording contract. Went to the bank, got my checkbook. I immediately went home and put it on the desk, cause that’s what George did,” says DJ D-Nice. “So George Jefferson taught me about finances.”
“JJ sold more lunch boxes than the Fonz. And because JJ had Dynamite, that made the Fonz go ‘Aye’,” says Steve Stoute.
The video interview highlights Norman Lear, creator of both television shows. Lear will be highlighted in an upcoming docu-film series titled Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You.
PBS highlights the reason for the creation of the show. “Largely responsible for the explosion of bold American television shows in the 1970’s, writer/producer Norman Lear’s name is synonymous with the sitcom. The first documentary about the 94-year old television legend, American Masters-Norman Lear:Just Another Version of You premieres nationwide Tuesday, October 25th at 9pm on PBS.” In addition to creating Good Times and The Jeffersons, Lear is also responsible for the creation of All In The Family and Maude.
The show will highlight Lear’s groundbreaking success in the television industry as well as his social activism. In addition, it will feature “colorful” stories from the likes of John Amos, Russell Simmons, Jon Stewart, Lena Dunham and many others. Watch the short clip below.